Leading doctors and politicians have spoken out against the alternative therapies – describing them as ‘no better than placebos’
Controversial: Homeopathy claims to help the body heal itself through diluted substances
A row has broken out over an NHS trust’s ‘nonsense’ advice on controversial homeopathic treatments.
NHS Tayside has come under fire after telling patients the alternative remedies are ‘very safe’, ‘stimulate the body to heal itself’ and trigger improvements in the majority of cases.
Doctors and politicians have previously slammed the availability of the treatments on the NHS – claiming the remedies are ‘scientifically implausible’ and ‘perform no better than placebos’.
This is also the view of the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Dame Sally Davies.
However, the Scottish Government recently stated the therapies ‘may offer relief to some people’.
The medicines are heavily diluted and are claimed to encourage the body to heal itself. It is up to local NHS organisations whether to fund them.
‘Nonsense’: Doctors have criticised leaflet published by NHS Tayside
Former Tory MP Louise Mensch sparked a Twitter backlash over the document, writing: “Lies, funded by the taxpayer, told to Scots, on the NHS, about #homeopathy.”
Scottish GP, Dr Chris Williams of NHS Highland – which recently ended its funding for homeopathy – called on the advice to be reviewed.
He added: “I expect there will be people in @NHSTayside who will want claims like this to be reviewed urgently.
“More NHS organisations insisting on better information for patients now.
“Many NHS organisations do not allow this sort of thing, @NHSTayside should review.”
Dr Vikas Shah, a Leicester-based consultant radiologist, said: “Disgraceful that @NHSTayside can peddle this nonsense.”
BMA Scotland, the trade union for doctors, said it does not support the promotion of the treatment by NHS trusts.
A spokeswoman said: “There is no evidence in support of homeopathy and the BMA believes these services shouldn’t be funded by the NHS.”
NHS Tayside defended the literature, claiming the treatments benefit patients.
A spokeswoman said: “We have a homeopathic care service at Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee for many years now and the majority of patients who are referred to the centre are living with life-limiting illnesses.
“Other patients who benefit from this additional service include people recovering from cancer-related illnesses and some of our palliative care patients.
“This service is invaluable to many of the patients who are referred to the clinic who gain real benefits from this complimentary treatment.”
The NHS in Scotland is almost entirely devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
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